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Lionel Messi has not been informed that he will lift the 2021 Ballon d'Or after a leak named him the winner of the award, according to France Football’s editor-in-chief.
The 34-year-old Argentine forward, who has won an unprecedented six Ballon d'Ors, is considered one of the favourites to challenge for the award.
Messi lifted the Copa del Rey title with Barcelona last season, but the Spanish club finished seven points adrift of La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar finished top scorer in La Liga before his sensational exit from the Camp Nou in the summer.
Messi, who signed on a free transfer for PSG, strengthened his position to challenge for the Ballon d'Or after leading Argentina to the 2021 Copa America title.
The Barcelona legend faces tough competition in the bid to land an unprecedented seventh Ballon d'Or, with N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski all in contention for the award.
According to reports, Messi had allegedly been informed by the Ballon d'Or organisers that he would win the 2021 edition of the award.
However, France Football editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre has now hit out at the leaked results and branded them as a “big bluff.”
He told German newspaper Bild: “That’s a lot of bull***t we’ve seen in the last 10 days. A big bluff.”
France Football cancelled the 2020 edition of the Ballon d'Or due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with Lewandowski tipped as the favourite to win the award at the time.
The Bayern Munich striker’s sensational goalscoring form has carried over to the current season, as Lewandowski has scored 23 times in 17 appearances across all competitions.
Lewandowski scored a staggering 41 times in 29 league matches last season en route to breaking Gerd Muller's goalscoring record for a single Bundesliga campaign.
Messi admitted that extending his Ballon d'Or tally would be “crazy,” but the Argentina captain has already accepted if he doesn’t win the award.
“If the Ballon d’Or arrives it would be extraordinary for what it would mean winning one more. The seventh would be crazy,” he told Sport.
“If not, nothing happens. I have already achieved one of my great goals. I am very happy for what happened and now that whatever has to happen happens.”
France Football will reveal the winner of the 2021 Ballon d'Or at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on 29th November.
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